The tsunami and the ensuing earthquake had brought irreparable damage to Japan. The consequences that the disaster brought about continue to reverberate in the economical and power sector of Japan. Post-earthquake, the energy crisis in Japan has triggered cultural changes in Japan. It has also demanded norms such as certain buildings cannot be cooled anywhere less than 82 degrees Fahrenheit (around 28 degree Celsius). That’s a tough situation in these hot times, right?
Such a situation has in fact made life difficult for corporate staffers who are used to their tight fitting executive dressing style. The result: many end up sweating profusely in their cubicles.
While many have been seeking means to escape the heat induced trouble, there’s no way one can shun their time tested executive dressing styles. Japanese, like many in the world west of them, have been taught to wear suitable attire as a sign of respect to their bosses.
It now seems like a cool solution has come up. Ryotaro Kish, a telecom company employee, who wasn’t willing to stay sweating in office for hours together, resolved to ditch his suit and tie and show up in Hawaiian shirts for work. Obviously, the old school was left shocked.
However, the cool dressing style is now catching up in the island nation. The Hawaiian shirts are keeping employees cool – free of sweat. It has also increased the efficiency of workers in the process, which has started making the attire popular among the new age executives.
The government seems to be following suit. The Japanese authorities have begun taking steps to reduce energy consumption by way of a campaign called ‘Super Cool Biz.’
The campaign, apart from requesting people to reach their offices before the sun beats down and feed on icy desserts, also suggests employees to wear sandals, shorts and Hawaiian shirts to work! Notably, the move has slashed around 5 million metric tons of the green house gas emissions.
It appears that cultural changes are more effective than technological changes. But the former takes time than later to seep in.
Though the idea was seen in the beginning as mocking office etiquette, Japan now is all for Kish’s endeavor. What do you feel?
Here’s a Reuters video on the Super Cool Biz campaign:
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